When six-year-old Halima first carried her little sister, Hallum, in to the Red Cross clinic in Darfur, Sudan, nurse Maree Dunn didn’t think the tiny two-year-old would survive the night. Not only was Hallum malnourished, she was also suffering from diarrhoea, which caused her to be dangerously dehydrated.
The Red Cross treated Hallum with inexpensive but essential rehydration salts, medicine and highly nutritional food supplements. Hallum’s big sister was absolutely devoted to her and whatever the two-year-old needed Halima would do her best to help.
After a few days, Maree was delighted to see that Hallum had recovered enough to sit up and look at the camera. Not long after that, she was up and running around with a big smile on her face. Tragically, diarrhoea kills so many children like Hallum. But with enough clean water, food and medicine, their lives can easily be saved by the Red Cross.
A vital aspect of healthcare work in the Red Cross camp in Darfur is hygiene education. Local community workers teach the importance of simple routines like washing hands, food preparation and boiling water. This helps prevent the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea that kill so many young children each year.
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